Mattancherry: The price of pepper has fallen steeply. Within a week, the price for a quintal of pepper fell by Rs 1,400. A decrease of Rs 200 per day has left the farmers in crisis.

Since last month, pepper price has decreased by Rs 30 per kilogram. The price dip is attributed to the commencement of harvest in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

At the same time, traders alleged that prices are decreasing because of the abundance of Vietnamese chilli in markets.

Earlier in the first phase it was evaluated 70,000 tons of pepper will be produced this year. But the adverse climatic conditions and the floods in Kerala and Karnataka have resulted in lower expectation. Now it is calculated that 50,000 tons of pepper will be produced.

Usually when production decreases, price goes up. Here the production too went down and the price too decreased.

Merchants complained about the import of pepper in northern states from Nepal in large quantity.

Pepper traders, planters consortium coordinator Kishore Shyamji said that Vietnamese chillies are arriving in the country in large quantity and the farmers can be saved only by restricting this import.

The measures taken by the central government to check the import turned futile. Fixing low price for the imported chillies was expected to help the farmers but it didn’t happen and the imports continued even at very high price.

“The state government should intervene to help farmers. the continuous price dip is a setback to the farmers,” opined Shyamji.